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A colorful and flavorful spring salad. This salad is great warm, cold, or at room temperature. It is also easy to mix up the flavors and create a whole new dish. Experiment with different dressings, vegetables, and seasonings. I make a big batch and eat it through out the week for a great lunch.
For the quinoa:
Heat 2 to 3 quarts water to a boil over high heat. Rinse quinoa under cool water 3 times, draining in between each rinse. Add salt to boiling water and then add the rinsed quinoa. Stir once then boil uncovered for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, drain quinoa. Return approximately 1 inch of water to a boil. Place colander used to drain quinoa over the boiling water. Cover with a kitchen towel and place a lid over the top. Let steam for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, remove the lid and move pot off the heat leaving towel in place. Let stand for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, fluff with a fork and add to a large bowl to eventually mix with rest of salad ingredients.
For the chicken:
While quinoa cooks, mix together diced chicken, salt-free seasoning, salt, and hot sauce (if using). Spray a skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, approximately 5 minutes. Once cooked, move chicken to a plate and set aside.
For the dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, garlic, Splenda or sugar, cumin, and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste. Vinaigrette should be strong tasting. It will be absorbed by quinoa and the taste will mellow significantly.
For the salad:
Add dressing to the bowl with the quinoa and toss until absorbed. The quinoa will absorb the dressing better if it is still warm. Once dressing is absorbed, add cooked chicken, black beans, green and red pepper, red onion, corn, and cilantro. Toss salad together until thoroughly mixed.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!